Airborne Heroes

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Damn. Three people from Great Falls, working for Benefis, died when their medevac plane crashed near Bozeman. Their names: Vince Kirol (pilot), Darcy Dengel (nurse), Paul Erickson (paramedic). This is just terrible.
MORE: My daughter just told me that Vince Kirol has a son, Kip, who is a senior at CMR, and she said that she has never seen a father and son who were closer than Vince and Kip; they had just finished building a raft together that they were going to use this summer.
This is just heartbreaking. If anyone knows of any planned memorials or funds being established to help the families and children, please let me know.
UPDATE: Todd pointed out the following information from the Trib site:

Those who wish to memorialize the three victims of the Mercy Flight crew…or financially assist their families…have a number of options through Benefis Healthcare Foundation. Gifts may be sent to the foundation with a request that they be divided among the families. Another option is to donate to a scholarship fund established by the foundation. The foundation committed $25,000 to start the fund, which will present annual scholarships to individuals who are pursuing education in a health-care field. Gifts can be sent to Benefis Healthcare Foundation, P.O. Box 7008, Great Falls MT 59406.

MORE: read some of the comments in the Tribune forums; it is clear that these three people were loved, respected, and cherished. And the folks at Benefis are trying to deal with the loss by creating memorial ribbons for people to wear to express their feelings.



  1. This is a community tragedy – what a loss to all of us. I have asked that the City lower our flags to half mast as a gesture of mourning and love and support for the families. I know the thoughts and prayers of all of us are with them.

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